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It Will Be Hard For Canada to Win the Lumber War


(Les Leyne – Times Colonist)

Based on the past several Canada-U.S. lumber trade wars going back to 1982, there are two safe bets to make today, at the outset of the next round of hostilities.

One is that it’s going to take years to reach a definitive conclusion, during which an incalculable amount of money will be spent on legal fees.

The other is that Canada will lose. Even when Canada wins, which it has done numerous times in multiple venues, it still loses.

The only scenario that represents a clear Canadian win is free trade with the U.S., with Canadian lumber crossing the border duty-free. Canada has made the case multiple times that’s fair and reasonable. It has won more of those arguments than it has lost.

But after each win, Canadian negotiators have reached the bitter conclusion that a compromise is necessary. So three of the last four major showdowns have resulted in “managed trade agreements.” That means Canada surrenders some of the spoils of victory and gives part of the win back to the U.S. Click here to read more.